The success of a QMS or Quality management system adopted by your company largely hinges on the critical concept of continual improvement, enabled through regular reviews. A QMS review offers you the opportunity to modify, change and improve upon your quality program. Maintenance of continual improvement directly helps you with delivering quality products and services to customers and winning over their prized satisfaction. Regular QMS reviews are also mandatory if you desire your company to be awarded the esteemed ISO 9001 certification. Your organisation’s overall success is in a significant part dependent on the efficient running of your QMS; hence review it vigorously, and timely.
QMS Review Frequency
The frequency of QMS reviews is determined chiefly by the maturity level of your system. Depending upon your system’s review requirements, you could hold adopt one of the following review-schedules :
- Annual Schedule Meeting
- Bi-Annual Meetings
- Weekly Meetings
In the initial or rawer stages of its implementation, the QMS requires reviews spaced over shorter periods, which enables you to closely watch over its output and performance. However, if your QMS has matured to a significant stage, it would suffice to review it annually.
Establish a review procedure
Before you set on to conducting reviews, make sure to develop a documented procedure which can be followed throughout the year. The document should outline the frequency, the required team and, the aims and objectives of the review. The inputs and outputs expected from the exercise also need to be woven into it.
The inputs is the set of information drawn from actual quality records which have been documented and contain information garnered in the previous review meetings. The list should include data on – quality metrics, performance, conformance etc along with improvement plans and recommendations.
At the end of a review, based on its findings and results you should prepare an output plan enlisting – items for the future actions on a programme like Gantt chart. The list should specify the action item or task, staff responsible for execution, the due date along with the mention of corrective or preventive plans if any. The final report must bear the signatures of all the participants.
Select the right team for reviews
Your QMS review team should be eclectic. To gain the best review results opt for a cross-functional team approach. The team should ideally comprise representatives from the top 2 or 3 management levels of the organisations engaged in quality activities, headed by the senior management. Your review team could include personnel like President or Operations Manager, Quality Assurance Manager, Facilities Manager, Production Manager, Engineer Manager, Purchasing Manager and Sales Manager.
Document the reviews
Documentation is one of the most important aspects of the QMS. After every review have your documentation department document all the details of the reviews, the documents should be all comprehensive and drawn out in a methodical manner. A proper document will be useful to your staff for future reference for their quality improvement tasks and processes.
If you are aspiring for ISO certification, it is necessary to follow its recommendations for documentation. Well-designed documents will be of exceptional help at the audition stage.ISO auditors seek several documents which feature details related to quality tasks such as – performance, management’s involvement, compliance etc. An impressive set of documents with details of all reviews will instil confidence in the auditors your organisations endeavour towards quality goals.
QMS is a dynamic and an elaborate system to help your organisation observe and maintain quality practices. However, like any other system in your organisation, its success depends much on its periodic reviews. Since you have invested your time, efforts and resources for it, and much of your business success is at stake it would be worth assessing it at regular intervals.
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